Personal branding

Some words of wisdom from Simon Cowell about finding your voice

If your Saturday nights are anything as wild as mine, then you may well find yourself ‘enjoying’ weekly instalments of The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing between now and Christmas.

And one thing I’ve already noticed about this years X Factor as opposed to be the past 100 years of X Factor is that (as well as generally seeming like a much nicer guy – that’s been the case since he had his son right?) there have been quite a few genuine pearls of wisdom to come out of Simon Cowell’s mouth. 

Ok so he still does his strange lizard eyes every time he spots some talent he can mine BUT he’s actually giving some pretty good advice about what it takes to be successful and stand out.

In particular, this week he talked about authenticity and finding your voice, both are which are huge buzzwords online and something that everyone trying to build their brand – whether business or personal brand – needs to understand and do.

So predictably, my ears picked up! 

In the programme, Simon Cowell urged several contestants to stop watching Youtube and mimicking American singers, and instead of focus on developing their own unique way of singing and performing.

He said that just because certain hand gestures and ways of performing work for whoever-it-is-on-Youtube doesn’t mean the same thing will work for Richard-from-Barnsley-currently-auditioning-for-xfactor, and he told them they needed to develop more, to perform more in front of more people until they started to find their own way.

This same topic – how to find your voice – then came up on Sunday at the Top Drawer event in Olympia where I sat on a panel talking about social media.

Because when you live in a world like this one right now whereby publishing content in one form or another can directly take you to where you want to go (which is great right?) then perhaps it’s only natural to simultaneously start wondering and worry about whether or not you sound ‘right’ and drawing inspiration from so-and-so person or business over there who you really admire and seems to have the whole thing nailed.

And likewise, those consuming your content have to believe in and feel inspired by you and humans are blessed with a natural ability to just get a sense when something is a bit ‘off’. 

The similarity for singers and content creators is that their work is public. What you do is judged by other people which can feel awkward when you’re still learning. 

I’ve now been writing this weekly blog and newsletter for 2 years, and before than I wrote a weekly blog and newsletter for my previous business (Talk to the Press) since 2008. 

Do I feel that I’ve found my voice? Compared to the day I sat and wrote my first post for either Talk to the Press back in 2008, or the first one I wrote for my personal brand back in 2015, absolutely (ironically, I found it easier to write in the voice of a business than myself). Is there still more ‘voice’ to find?

Of course.

It’s all a process, each time you publish, each time you post.